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Hardware

What 3D Printing Material Options Are There?

3D printing has indeed made creation and productions of different kinds of models easy for designers and manufacturers. Whatever your reasons for taking an interest in the printing, you need to get a machine that can accommodate the kind of printing needs you have. One of the most important considerations to make is the types of materials the printer can handle. When you understand the materials you will most likely use in your productions, you will have an easier time choosing the best printer that will actually serve your needs.

Whether you are looking to create a unique 3d gift or you want to create a prototype, the material options are numerous and you will only need to make the best decision. When you know the options available to you, it becomes easy to select what you feel will work for the kind of creation you have in mind. The different materials have different properties and what might work for one creation may not always be the best for another, hence the need to select the most suitable material every time.

ABS and PLA – Most printers use spool filaments in ABS or PLA. The Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and Polylactic Acid are plastic materials also known as thermoplastics. They can be heated to be semi-liquid and flexible and go back to a solid state once cooled. The ABS printing material is strong, highly resistant to temperature and flexible, making it a preference for many professionals. PLA on the other hand, produces thin layer thicknesses and sharper corners and it comes in a variant of colors so you can choose according to your preferences.

Nylon – Polyamide is a strong and flexible plastic that is made from powder. It is also called white and is flexible and durable. Whereas this material is naturally white you can still find it in different colors, giving you the freedom to select what suits your production best. The material can handle different creations, including moving parts and interlocking parts. It offers a minimum of 1mm in wall thickness.

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Hardware

Caring And Maintaining A 3D Printer – What To Do

In as much as 3D printers have revolutionized production processes in almost all fields, they are machines prone to damages and jams. The last thing you would want is to have a printer that fails to function as expected and hence the important in ensuring that you accord the printer the care it truly deserves. With proper maintenance you will be able to reduce jams and other issues that can damp your efforts of producing your desired models. Below are some but effective ways of keeping your printer in top shape.

Clean the build plate

Usually, glue is applied to build a plate to prevent print warping when taking 3D prints. The glue can however end up attracting foreign particles and molten plastic, interfering with the prints because of the irregular surface. Therefore, make a habit of cleaning the plate after each print. You can do this by dipping a clean cloth in warm water and gently wiping the plate.

Choose the right filament for the project

Filament placement causes printing problems in 3D and you therefore need to be careful how you choose and handle the filament. Before loading the material, unwind spool to check for kinks and knots that can lead to jams. It is also best that you stick to the filament recommended by the printer manufacturer to enjoy a smooth printing experience every time.

Keep the X and Y axis lubricated

The axis is in continuous motions during the printing process. It moves along printer head and as dust gets deposited on rods the lubrication fades, making the axis stiffer reducing performance in the process. To ensure that the motion is smooth throughout, make sure that you clean the rods off dust and lubricate using oil. You can manually move to check that lubrication is on point before using the printer. The Z axis should also be lubricated with grease or solid lubricant to sustain it.

Ensure the firmware is always updated

This is very essential especially for businesses that rely on 3D printing. Firmware updates ensure that you have the latest software and printing features so you can achieve high quality productions every time. You can keep up with the latest by checking manufacturer website on a regular basis for any upgrades and update announcements. If you have a printer that is WIFI enabled, then you will enjoy automatic downloads and installations of updates on cloud basis.